We are a firm believer of testing our products thoroughly prior to releasing them to the public, and as such we spent several months testing our Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bands on our own personal devices. A side benefit of this testing is that we inadvertently tested the daily wearability and functionality of both smartwatches, so we thought why not share our findings and opinions of both devices with our customers?
Having spent a sizeable amount of time wearing the Series 2 Apple Watch on the daily, we switched over to the newly released Samsung Galaxy S8+ paired with a Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 Frontier.
Aesthetics / Comfort
While Apple has gone for the square watch face design, Samsung has decided to follow a more conventional design akin to most standard "non-smart" dress watches.
There are pros and cons to both designs, it is worth noting that in terms of physical size the Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 is much larger than the Apple Watch. Our suggestion to those with smaller wrists or individuals who do not enjoy wearing a larger watch should definitely try the Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 in person prior to committing to a purchase!
In terms of comfort, the Apple Watch is more versatile for your daily duties. I personally found that I would often forget I was wearing a watch during the day at the office or even during a workout session at the gym while wearing the Apple Watch. The Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 on the other hand was often a bit annoying due to its sheer size, nowadays I even take my Galaxy Gear S3 off prior to a session at the gym!
Looks are obviously a subjective topic, however overall the OzStraps team find that the Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 is the more attractive smartwatch when compared to the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch runs Apple's "WatchOS" operating system while the Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 utilises Samsung's own "Tizen OS".
While smartwatches are definitely picking up in popularity among the general public, I believe that most wearers currently use them to stay on top of their smartphone notifications. Both the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 serve well for this purpose, however I had a few issues with WhatsApp notifications on the Gear S3 where I would only be able to see the latest message received from a contact rather than the entire history of unread messages. While this was initially an issue for me having being used to the way notifications were displayed on the Apple Watch, I quickly found a solution via a third party app on the Samsung store - no biggie :)
In terms of interacting with the devices themselves, Apple makes use of the "Digital Crown" while Samsung has implemented a "Rotating Bezel" similar to that of the Galaxy Gear S2. I was honestly a big fan of the digital crown on the Apple Watch and struggled to see how other manufacturers could top it, however since moving to the rotating bezel of the Gear S3 I have been convinced otherwise. Each rotation of the bezel on the Samsung Galaxy Gear S3 is met with a satisfying click, matched with a rotating motion on the display of the smartwatch itself. It feels extremely natural and also makes me feel like James Bond while using it, well done Samsung for allowing me to feel like 007 everyday.
All in all both smartwatches are well integrated with their respective smartphones, and to be honest my opinion is that if you are after a smartwatch you won't be disappointed with either device. What it really comes down to is which smartphone you prefer to use (Apple or Samsung, iPhone or the Galaxy Series, iOS vs Android etc).
We hope that you enjoyed this article as it is a little different from our usual posts about watch bands, do let us know if you would like us to cover any other content on our site!
As always feel free to contact us if you have any questions.